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The Parable of the Talents

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
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April 28, 2021 8:00 am

The Parable of the Talents

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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April 28, 2021 8:00 am

When eternity is what’s at stake, it’s dangerous to assume that God approves of us simply because we are pleased with ourselves. On this broadcast of the Bible Study Hour, Dr. Boice will remind us that being ready for the return of Christ is no passive matter. We’ll find out what two-question test can help us assess the readiness of our own hearts to face the judgment that is surely coming.

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When eternity is what's at stake it's dangerous to assume that God approves of us simply because we're pleased with ourselves on this broadcast of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will remind us that being ready for the return of Christ is no passive matter will find out what to question test can help us assess the readiness of our own hearts to face the judgment that is surely coming, and welcome to the Bible study on a radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. No billboard or self proclaimed modern profit can know the day or the hour of Christ's return. That's why were each called to faithfully and actively watch and be ready. It's been a month since we've been studying Matthew together because we interrupted the series. First of all, for Easter and then we got end of a series of reformed theology conferences which have taken me away first to Chicago and Colorado Springs and then we had the third last version of that conference here a week ago so I was only to die after an interruption with three or four weeks that we return to Matthew's gospel ring the 25th chapter which if you are all familiar with it, you will know contains these three great parables of judgment. The last of our Lord's formal teaching in this gospel.

There are significant stories and are meant to warn us to be ready for the Lord's return chapter before this began with the disciples asking for a sign.

When will this happen.

When will you return one will be the end of the age we saw as we looked at that that Jesus answered by saying the way lots of signs were there not signs of my return.

And the reason for that is that when I return. It will be suddenly there without any warning. So those seven church history who have gone around sign well because this is happening, or because that is happening. Jesus must be returning of always been wrong always going to be wrong. Eventually, of course, somebody will say saying that in the be right because that will be when the Lord returns, but is not because of the signs that they saw what follows from all the bladder Jesus is going to return suddenly and return and judgment as we have to be ready whenever you make, what I do trying to point out is that that's the burden of these last chapters usually answers the questions in the first two thirds of chapter 24 and beginning with the 36 verse of that chapter carrying on the whole way through the chapter that were studying now is explaining that they need to be ready and what it really is to be ready.

I ended our last study by asking those questions. How do I know I'm ready for the Lord's return and answered in two ways one by asking myself, am I serving the Lord like a lamb I serving others because I love him reason I answered that way is because that's how Jesus himself answers it with the next two parables is not perhaps the way we would tend to do it theologically. Am I ready when we get introspective at that point we get academic or weeks yet intellectual we would say do I understand the gospel properly. Am I really trust like how strong is my faith. That's not the answer that Jesus gives reason he doesn't do that is that he knows that that's unproductive. Do I believe and how to answer that kind of a question, knows that if you believe in him will be loving him and if you are loving him you will be serving him. And if you're serving in the also be serving others of you got questions in your mind.

Whether you're really ready. Whether Jesus Christ to come back or not.

The thing is get busy doing some work and then you'll know that's the way this is going now. I pointed out when I introduce these three stories. The story of the 10 virgins only story about the man they were given talents to investment were looking at the day of the final story about the sheep and the goats that they all have three things in common. In each of the stories. There is a sudden return of the master verse one.

It's the sudden appearance of the bridegroom and the second that's the return of the master from a far journey and in the final story.

The point becoming clear case we miss it is when the Son of Man comes in his glory. Now all that is sudden. Jesus is saying, nobody's expecting sickening.

These three stories all have in common is that when Jesus returns are so sudden and radical division first story is between the five women were ready and the five women were not ready easy to understand what Jesus was saying there. The second is between the two servants who had served well investing what master had given them of the one I would not and in the final story of separation between the sheep and the goats left the second thing that they all have in common. The third thing they have in common is that those who are rejected when the master return.

Suddenly, I'm really surprised at the outcome five foolish women can't believe that there rejected they were there waiting for the bridegroom they received the invitation that except it was just a small matter of not being quite ready at the exact moment, but when they lock on the door master. The bridegroom won't let the man that I don't know yet. I can't believe it actually turned out okay so the servants who failed to invest about ladies stop living. I thought he did well he can lose the money. After all, he gave back here it is. You can have again blessings rejected because very explicit about his rejection. He strode out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth talking about hell in the final story of the sheep of the goats. The goats were rejected can understand why because they didn't see the master if they had seen it, why they would've taken care of and that he was on rear visited him that he was in prison or something like gambling that Mr. opportunity when we begin to put all that together we recognize what Jesus is talking about here is the visible church is concern for people who are going to be sitting in the pews as he looks down the corridors of history, you think everything is well with their souls because they're sitting in the pews actually are not born again, not truly trust in Jesus and the saving. Why do I love you and are not serving him speaking to people like that when he warns them that in the final day they will experience the judgment. I want to look at the second story and it has to do with the servants first one was given five talents second one was given to challenge the last one was given one so hard to know how much money that was one thing, a talent wasn't a chlorine. It was a weight and we don't know whether this was a weight of gold, silver, brass, copper, kind of the point. It was if the talentless works 6000 lame sums and an RA was normal working man's wage for the day talking about the bit of money here 20 years of a normal man's labor. Although we don't know how much it was the minimum. It's a lot of money, the new international version as a footnote says more than $1000. That's to love an awful lot of money. Here is a master that has entrusted them with something which is really very very valuable.

The amount is important that even the fact that it's money is an important case anything counts as a talent, the English preacher John Charles while one of the great bishops of the Anglican church says anything whereby we may glorify God as a talent are gifts are influence our money our knowledge or health, our strength, our time, our senses are reason our intellect are memory our affections are privileges as members of Christ Church are advantages as possessors of the Bible all all our talents. So the point of this story. The unique point of the story is it waiting for Christ to return and being ready is not a passive matter really sitting there and doing nothing.

It's being actually engaged faithfully and energetically master way to understand what goes on here.

These conversations, I think maybe we miss it a little bit on entirely because of course you're talking about Monday were such a commercially oriented people.

We think of investing. How many years does it take to double your money in the bank that kind of thing you find out all that kind of information course.

That's the point he is talking about money and other things as well but I think what we really tend to miss. Here is the tone of the conversation. The other thing we miss in the winter when the windows are closed all the noise from the city streets and one day we're gonna seal it all up old heirs good becoming is hard to sustain attention in the summer of we have to talk about is that the tone of these conversations and I think William Hendrickson is really on target because he suggest when you look at the Greek text actually translated literally. You pick up something of the emotion that's going on here. I will share with you the way he talks about. He said that the man who had been given the five talents let master return seems to come to them with two bags because this is the way the conversation goes literally of something like this. He says master life talent you placed in my hands with that on your sleep look and additional five talents I've acquired. That's actually the way goes. You could almost detect man's pleasure in what is been able to accomplish for the master. He loves the master.

The master had entrusted him with something very significant. Not only use that he's doubled it and here it is. He gives back and the other man does the same thing and would been given the two talents. Hendrickson says I think rightly the man's eyes were sparkling he's bubbling over with enthusiasm is thoroughly thrilled and is it where he invites his master to start counting It out see how well I did that we can hardly escape the contrast with the second server when the first two came and made their presentation. The master responds well done, but we might say excellent blog all sprung the job. This man comes in and he's angry self-justifying remarks or accusing master. I knew that your hardware harvesting or you have not sown gathering where you have not scattered say so.

I was afraid I went out I hid your talent in the ground. See, here it is. You can have it back belongs to understand how that's going. Accusation wasn't true course master was like that of all he been generous with both of them, but nevertheless you can almost hear the reproach in the one service voice as he throws the talent down upon the table. Here's what belongs to you. He said it's exactly the way you gave it to me. Not one bit more and not one bit less, but the massive doses condemn them for two reasons for his wickedness. Also, because it was lazy, wicked because he was assigning all kinds of false motives and attitudes that the mastery was utterly unjustified in doing that also lazy because I was his real problem and then master gives it to the one who had 10 saying everyone has will be given more, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from them and then that do-nothing servants cast outside of the darkness, warns us about do-nothing Christianity. One commenter said to have done no harm as praise for a stone without her man were given talents have opportunity to do something is up to us as Christian people actually to do it Story is back off a minute now and that's what the lessons are again the lessons we seen before. First of all, there is going to be a day of reckoning for all people is the day of judgment resides at each of the stories makes that point, but it certainly makes it here because that man was disapproved was cast out into the darkness of those who were approved were praised by their masters, less exact opposite of what most people think.

Today those people today don't think in terms of a final judgment as a matter fact they considered to be irrational is the question what do people think about when they think about dying what's in there. My most want to think about all of course you push it from our minds want to face the inevitable.

But if they do, think about it.

What most people think.

I suppose they think about the afterlife in pleasant terms mostly think of it as a continuation more or less what we know now if they think about God at all. They assume that God is going to approve a public oath.

After all, improve with her themselves of that. I like themselves must like suppose that's where most people are is because RC Sproul, my friend. Whenever speakers are the conferences from time to time to speak of justification by death note used to be this great debate between Protestants and Catholics Protestants insisted that you are justified by faith alone comes out of the Reformation sold Athena and Catholic said well I think yes but also by works of their phrase was before it was PDF (I think I am works are justified, but that it almost seems pass in the minds of most people that I don't think they don't work. I guess that all you have to do is die in a legal question that does ask in the Kennedy evangelism explosion program somebody dies they come before God is is what right do you had to come in them. I haven't one answer to the deadline. I yet this matter of judgment is the most rational thing of all, you can just get people to think about you and in most books on theology the doctrine of the last things eschatology, has three main focal points was return of Jesus Christ were talking about the resurrection of those who have died to face the judgment and then there's the judgment self-doubt of the three. The only one that really makes sense rationally, as the judgment for this reason Jesus is coming back with certainly doesn't have to a reason why she got back in the first time I want to be that we kill, mistreated and slandered until the beat them up.

All of that to say of the simply washed his hands of all races that I'm done with about never come back again of anything to do with them. That would make sense but he's coming anyway. Again, if you talk about the resurrection what's rational about that. It's even hard for people to believe once Dan always did. Why should there be another life as an OS, another life, or a continuation of the life we have in one form or another particularly rational about that the judgment is rational.

See if there's a God of all, what kind of a God he may be. The world is a sinful place with much evil being done as we know it is done constantly day by day, and particularly our pride in the most rational thing in the world is at some date is going to be a day of reckoning is only a fool who can think that throw and then say well maybe for you but not for me because the problem with people today is not the environments of the way in which they were raised because of the evil in their hearts.

That's why we have the tragedies we do.

That's why we had the shooting out there in Colorado. It's not because they were particularly badly raise that at all because we live in an environment here. A culture that encourages violence that is part of the problem is the sin in our hearts. You may not have an opportunity actually to go out and shoot somebody for one reason or another, not even the desire to do it but your citizens great at its root is theirs. So Jesus is saying, you learn anything really stories. That's the first wake-up of the fact that there is a day of reckoning. One day you will stand before God in answer for your many sins either do it in your own person suffering for them in the person of Jesus Christ came to bear the punishment of your sins self in order that you might go free. That's first lesson lesson here and somewhat surprising. Is this emphasis upon works needed to judgment by works since trying to get around that the troubles Protestants, especially because we been taught that you're not saved by works cited by the work of Christ received by faith Catholic sale. I can see this usually stories. Let me tell your save my work At work still and so we say now that mean that Protestants are wrong was that whole Reformation. The mistake while part of the answer comes by recognizing the this is not the only story. The 20th chapter of Matthew, you have the first story of the wise and foolish. They weren't working at suspect. Question five. Being ready in five not ready the way you get ready is by faith in Christ.

Certainly, all that's involved in the story Jesus calling on that before. That is all that works are still mentioned.

So you say how are we to understand that after all the way to understand it is all over not saved by works of we are say we will work but in another terms God doesn't justify without regenerating regeneration means having a new nature.

New life within her justified or regenerated as regenerated, justified all the justification is by the work of Christ received by faith alone, regeneration which leads I might add to the faith also produces works.

Although the works don't say that you have the works are not saved as a clear enough were saved by grace through faith will work for Jesus Christ. The reason they will do that is because they love them.

Usually at this point a contrast is made between Paul's teaching and the teaching of James Luther did like James you know he said writes Troy Bissell because he thought so much about works James.that's what good is it, brothers of a man claims to have faith but has no deeds can such faith save him as a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food in front of you says to them go.

I wish you well. Keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Luther didn't like that was James. Luther, like Paul was, and what Paul says in second chapter of Romans.

Those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality.

God will give eternal life to those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow people. There will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil, first with the Jews, then for the Gentile glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good first for the Jew and then the Gentile.

For God does not show favoritism which arrivals are no, we do recognize that those who have been born again will live for Jesus Christ not living for Jesus Christ are not born again, we are not Christians. Now there's a warning here. When Jesus spoke of the men were given talents by their master and who use them.

He said that one was given more than the other one was given class I have five talents again five more wanted to talents again. Two more than this one man who only had one his job but notice the basis of his judgment was not that he didn't have as much money or produces much as the first planet city didn't use what he had to bear that in mind, especially when we think about other Christians for me. My comparisons are true what the story teaches is that the people of God of no him love Jesus Christ will work. They don't all have the same talents they won't all work in the same way. I am looking on from the outside.

Not all will produce the same results is not for us to look at other people and say well I mean what they're doing hardly anything over here look with what I'm doing. I'm doing a great deal is utterly foreign to the story. We have to learn not to do that at all. Remember how Paul said who are you to judge someone else's servant to his own master he stands or falls.

Let's warning about how we think about others is what Paul is talking about in that latter portion of Romans that we were reading earlier now given that warning or qualification. I need to qualify the qualification because while that is true for other people was injunction now may stand before their own master. The answer to Jesus Christ not to you. Having done that, we nevertheless have to be absolutely rigid with ourselves. The words we have to make our calling and election sure wasn't. Imagine that any non-productive performance on our part will be excused. Which brings me to the last point, namely, the failure of all excuses before God to see that's what this man was doing. He was bringing in his excuse master.

I know you're a hard man harvesting where you haven't some gathering.

I haven't scattered seats. I was afraid I really natural to be afraid of anybody like you and so I went out and hid the talent in the ground here is back to the master wasn't fooled by that of all excuse didn't count anything all I have to point out that there are people in Christian circles. To do that today they would use doctrine to excuse their own production. After all, if we are justified by faith apart from works.

We don't have to worry about doing works doing as far as perseverance is that we all know once saved always saved perseverance of the saints doesn't matter what I do want to get to heaven in the end talk about predestination. God's going to save whom is going to say so I don't have to be concerned about evangelizing the kind of excuses we had to say. But it doesn't come anyway with God.

If the standard lay down here is the true standard as it is we have to say what wicked and lazy people.

There must be in many of our churches.

The I Carson wrote this is not an offer. Jesus followers to hang in there and wait for the end they must see themselves for what they are servants who all went to their master to improve but he entrusted them. Failure to do so prudently, cannot really be valued disciples of all many quotes Henry offered another preacher who said the foolish virgins failed from thinking their part to easy wicked servant fails from thinking is part too hard and think that you can get away with giving excuses to God before God's eyes all hearts will be open, all desires known all sins and failures explosive will not be even single protest when the Almighty God takes the bench and judgment.

Let me finish my talking about this matter of surprise. I've been to a number of surprise parties in my life and I found that it's a rare occasion the person really is surprised.

Usually someone drops the ball along the way, I noticed the preparations or somebody lets it slip so people come to their surprise party and they go oh I am so surprised, but they're not really surprised at all well is going to be a great surprise at the end of history but is not going to be a surprise party judgment of many people will thought everything is well between themselves and God are going to be absolutely confounded in that day. Wicked servant thought he done well. Must've been absolutely astonished when he heard the master say throw that wicked servant outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I will be the end for many who in their lifetime. Call out Lord, Lord, but did not do what he said we wouldn't dare say this of the Lord hadn't said at first his authority have to say many worshiping today in Christian congregations. Apparently Christians who consider themselves to be good questions will be judged by Jesus, and that day is a very sober matter. Judgment is a division and it's eternal. It's a division between heaven and hell between happiness and suffering between misery and the joy of the redeemed. The last parable, the goats go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life in this story, the faithful are invited to share masters happiness. Wicked servant is cast outside into the darkness. Darkness because that's existence without God was the source of life outside because separation from that one who is the center core of all things in that darkness. There is no hope. There is no joy there is no longer there is no after only weeping and gnashing of teeth forever.

Go there is no need to. Jesus Christ came to rescue you from believe on him trust Christ as your Savior, then get busy and do something useful for him but sprayed her father, we thank you for the story as difficult as it is to start a think about apply.

Give us grace to do it you been gracious to give it to us, gracious to give us this time we could study it today continue that grace to each heart that no one might perish in ignorance opposing all is well with his or her soul. Actually, the judgment itself looms grant the many my trust Christ in the summer. You are listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Reich and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888.

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